Heart Health is a fairly simple concept; the aim being to increase the overall health of your heart as the name suggests. However, “Heart Health” is not achieved through one singular solution, and it can take on various different meanings beyond the literal health of your physical health.
We asked members of our SHiFT team to describe what “Heart Health” means to them.
” Heart health means taking care of my body, eating healthy and getting exercise. It also means getting out of myself and having compassion for others.”
” Heart disease runs in my family. Following my abstinent meal plan and maintaining a 190-pound weight loss supports a healthy and strong heart.
I do many self-love practices throughout the day. One that stands out to me is listening to the Daily Calm meditation. Ahh, it is manna for my soul!”
” On June 28th of 2020 my heart stopped, and then started, four different times. Doctors ascertained that the electrical system that controls the beating of my heart was no longer working properly and that if my heart was to work at all, I would need a pacemaker, which would provide the electrical stimulus that my heart needs to function in a healthy manner.
During my recuperation I had lots of time to come to terms with this life changing event. My meditations were often led to the similarities between my heart health and my spiritual health.
Without the pacemaker, the electrical current that my heart needs to beat in a healthy manner, cannot be maintained. Likewise, without abstinence, the spiritual connection I need with my Higher Power, which provides me with a healthy recovered spiritual life, cannot be maintained.
Now whenever I feel my pacemaker, I have a physical reminder of the importance of my abstinence.”
” In the broader definition of heart health as you designate, I would include spiritual health. As described within the 12 Step model, the disease of food addiction is “threefold: physical, mental-emotional and spiritual.” Unlike the disease of obesity which is primarily physical, in food addiction specific foods change the biochemistry of the brain; this causes physical craving, mental obsession and a distortion of personality. Thus, as the disease of food addiction advances, there is a distortion of the hunger instinct, a distortion of thinking related to food, and a distortion of the food addict’s sense of self. This latter problem presents as “worship of food” and as “self-will-run-riot”. The solution begins with 1) complete abstinence from the triggering food(s), 2) interdependence with recovered food addicts and health professionals to correct irrational thinking and 3) a transformational spiritual experience, i.e. correcting an unhealthy object of worship with a healthy spiritual process. Food addicts learn a “language of the heart” and a more “humble sense of self.” As with alcoholism and drug addiction recovery, food addiction recovery includes a healthy love of self, a repair of selfish attitudes and behaviors, and the building of a healthy connection with others at a spiritual level.”
As you can see, Heart Health can take on many different meanings, and there’s no wrong answer. Whether it’s physical, emotional, or spiritual, Heart Health continues to be of the utmost importance going forward in our lives. With a healthy heart comes a healthy and fulfilling life.
What does Heart Health mean to you?
Click the link below to find out more about how you can work on your heart health.